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HP Elite Folio unveiled at CES 2021 with 5G and a vegan leather design

HP Elite Folio
(Image credit: HP)

While CES 2021 is most definitely a different beast this year, we’re still getting plenty of laptop and tech announcements, including many refreshes in HP’s commercial lineup. However, one new product stands out from the rest: the HP Elite Folio, a sleek, 13.5-inch 2-in-1 laptop that may appeal to professional creators. It might be one of the best 2-in-1 laptops if it excels on our benchmarks.

The HP Elite Folio is slated to launch sometime in February, but we don’t have pricing just yet. As far as the refreshes go, the HP EliteBook x360 1030 G8 and the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 are expected to launch in January, while the HP Elite x2 G8 is anticipated for April. Unfortunately, there isn’t pricing available on those products either.

HP Elite Folio

The HP Elite Folio is so exciting because of its innovative design. Unlike typical 2-in-1 laptops, the Elite Folio doesn’t rotate 360 degrees. Instead, the display folds forward, laying flat against the keyboard, similar to the HP Spectre Folio, hence the “Folio” namesake. The exterior even features a vegan leather material in a “Shadow Black” color.

The Elite Folio comes in at 11.8 x 9.0 x 0.6 inches and 2.9 pounds, so it’s incredibly light and slim, making it an excellent portable device. Of course, if you’re looking for a machine with ports, you might want to look elsewhere because this convertible sports only two USB Type-C ports, a headphone jack and a nano-SIM card slot. 

Where specs are concerned, the Elite Folio is opting for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G Gen 2 CPU, so performance is a serious concern of ours. However, you will get up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 512GB NVME SSD.

The Elite Folio also passed 19 MIL-STD 810H tests, so it’s sturdy as heck, and if you’re worried about privacy, this machine comes with a privacy camera as well as HP’s Sure View privacy display. 

The Elite Folio’s 13.5-inch display features a 3:2 screen ratio at a 1920 x 1280-pixel resolution. Since it is a 2-in-1 laptop, it also sports a touch-screen display with 10-point multi-touch and Wacom pen support. Additionally, it features an 88.3% screen-to-body-ratio, so the bezels are super thin.

We don’t have any information on battery life as of yet but hopefully Qualcomm can pull through with some double-digits runtimes.

HP EliteBook x360 1030 G8 / EliteBook x360 1040 G8

If you’re looking for a more traditional 2-in-1 experience without any doubts about its performance, the HP EliteBook x360 1030 G8 and HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 seem like solid choices.

HP EliteBook x360 1030 G8 / HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8

(Image credit: HP)

The 1030 (13.3-inch) comes in at 12 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches, while the 1040 (14-inch) comes in at 12.6 x 8 x 0.7 inches, and each features a svelte aluminum chassis. Since you’re getting a bigger chassis, you’ll get more ports. Both come with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack and a nano-SIM card slot.

Both of these machines will pack 11th Gen Intel Core processors with the option between a Core i5 or Core i7. The options for RAM includes 8GB, 16GB or 32GB. And you can also get up to a 2TB SSD.

As far as security is concerned, you’ll get all of HP’s branded security options, including a privacy display, fingerprint reader, face recognition with IR camera and more.

When we look at the displays, the 1030’s 13.3-inch panel can get up to a 4K OLED display rated for 400 nits of brightness or a 1080p IPS display rated for 1000 nits of brightness. Meanwhile, the 1040’s 14-inch panel can get up to a 4K HDR screen rated for 550 nits of brightness or a 1080p IPS display rated for 1000 nits of brightness. The panels that can get up to 1,000 nits use HP’s Sure View privacy tech.

Similar to the Elite Folio, there aren’t any battery life numbers available, but the recent HP EliteBook 830 and EliteBook 840 G7 landed between the 9 to 10-hour range. Hopefully, the more premium EliteBooks can get over 10 hours.

HP Elite x2 G8

The biggest difference between the HP Elite x2 G8 and the rest is that this machine is a detachable 2-in-1, so if you’re looking for the most portable solution in this lineup, this is it.

HP Elite x2 G8

(Image credit: HP)

The HP Elite x2 G8 comes in at 11.4 x 8.5 x 0.3~0.6 inches and 2.6 pounds, so it’s ridiculously thin and light. You’ll barely notice it if you shove it in your bag. However, it is somewhat light on ports, sporting two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB Type-A port, a headphone jack and a nano-SIM card slot. 

Despite its size, it still comes with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 U-series processor. To top that off, you can configure it with up to 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD. It’s likely to be more powerful than the Elite Folio.

The Elite x2 offers similar security measures as the rest of the Elite series laptops and it even underwent durability tests.

The HP Elite x2’s 13.0-inch screen can be outfitted with up to a 3000 x 2000-pixel, 450 nits panel or a 1080p, 1000-nit display. Both are touchscreens and are compatible with Wacom pens, however, the latter is the one with the privacy tech.

Unfortunately, we also didn’t receive battery life numbers for the HP Elite x2.

Outlook

Seeing refreshes for HP’s commercial lineup isn’t a surprise, but it’s nice to see HP introducing new products into the lineup as well. The HP Elite Folio is interesting, as it’s very much the business counterpart of the consumer version in the Spectre Folio. 

I’m more concerned about how battery life and performance are going to hold up using Qualcomm chips instead of Intel. While that’s likely due to the heat, given that there’s pleather onboard, it’ll be disappointing to see an otherwise well-designed product suffer in performance for the sake of some fake leather.

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is a Senior Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.